U.S. Claims Spot in Gold Cup Semifinals, Routs Scrappy El Salvador in Baltimore Matchup, 5-1


The U.S. Men’s National Team cruised past El Salvador, 5-1, on July 21 to claim a berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals before a sellout crowd in Baltimore.

Despite a crowd filled with El Salvadoran fans and supporters of Honduras, playing the second game of a double-header, Clarence Goodson and Joe Corona scored in an eight-minute span of the first half to cement the U.S. team’s ninth-straight international victory.

Eddie Johnson, Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud contributed second half goals. The U.S. will play July 24 in Dallas against the winner of the Honduras-Costa Rica match.

Donovan keyed three of the American goals in a performance proving his prominent place as an international talent.

“I think Landon proved again today how valuable he is and now he can make a difference,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN. “This game was important for coaches to see who is a difference maker. Overall, we see our team clicking more and playing better and better.”

El Salvador scored before the half when Rudolfo Zalaya was fouled by DaMarcus Beasley and converted a penalty kick in the 39th minute.

“The difference today was scoring early goals,” Donovan said. “Even though they got a questionable goal back, we still kept going and our effort was really good. Obviously, to score five goals is a bonus.”

The sellout crowd of over 71,000 fans was dominated by the blue of Honduras and El Salvador, with only small enclaves of red-clad U.S. fans.

“Collectively, they're a very good team,” El Salvador coach Agustin Castillo said through a translator, according to ESPN. “They almost play by memory. They can find the spaces. It almost seems like every time they pass the ball into a space it's going to nobody, then somebody appears and actually meets the ball. Good work, good movement.”

U.S. Claims Spot in Gold Cup Semifinals, Routs Scrappy El Salvador in Baltimore Matchup, 5-1

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